Informed Consent• Relates to the patients right to accept or reject treatment by a nurse or any other health care provider• A right of all legally competent adults or emancipated minors
The Doctrine of InformedConsent• A fundamentally accepted principle governing the relationship between professional nurses and all other health care providers and patients.
The Role of the Physician• In the majority of circumstances, informed consent is obtained for medical or surgical procedures to be performed by physicians• Therefore, it is the duty of the physician to inform the patient of alternative treatments, the nature of the procedure, and benefits and potential risks
• Therefore, it is the duty of the physician to inform the patient of alternative treatments, the nature of the procedure, and benefits and potential risks
The Role of the Nurse• Oftentimes, especially when the patient is hospitalized, the nurse is required to witness the patients signature before the procedure• It is prudent for the nurse to note witness to signature directly next to the patients signature
Emancipated Minors• Individuals who are under age 18 and married, parents of their own children, or are self-sufficiently living away from the family domicile with parental consent
Legal Guardian• In the case of a minor, informed consent would be obtained from the legal guardian• In the case of individuals incapable of understanding medical treatment issues, informed consent must be obtained through a responsible person such as a guardian
Duty of the Nurse• The nurse has the duty to verify that the physician or other health care provider has: • Explained each treatment or procedure in a language the patient (or the responsible person) can comprehend • Warned the patient of any material risks, dangers, or harms inherent in or collateral to the treatment
Duty of the Nurse • Advised the patient of available alternatives• This enables the patient to make an intelligent and informed decision and choice about whether to undergo treatment
• The informed consent should be obtained before rendering the treatment or performance of the procedure.
• The nurse must document that the informed consent was obtained and that the patient understood the information• The informed consent should be obtained in the presence of a witness
NURSING ALERTWith the increasing cultural diversity ofour patient population, it is prudent toobtain an interpreter for the patient ifthere is a reasonable chance that thepatient will not understand explanationsin the English language.